On the dangers of being polite — a conversation about THE INVITATION with Karyn Kusama

Utilizing a production budget of roughly $1 million and a single location — a mid-century house high in the Hollywood Hills — The Invitation is a slow-burning, dread-inducing exploration of pain and adult relationships. Theatrically distributed by Drafthouse Films earlier this year and recently released on Netflix, The Invitation was the centerpiece of last year’s Stanley Film Festival. Following the screening, I had a chance to speak with director Karyn Kusama about how The Invitation relates to the horror genre, the genesis of the project and why politeness might be our civil undoing. Warning: spoilers follow. Michael Casey: What does the … Continue reading On the dangers of being polite — a conversation about THE INVITATION with Karyn Kusama

What’s in a name?

How does one define a horror movie? Thrills and chills? Blood and guts? Elements of the supernatural and the super-demented? In a word, yes. All of these tropes are acceptable for the horror genre, yet they still remain restrictive. Using the word “horror” casts a wide net — covering anything from the personal to the political, the intimate to the public, the minimalistic to the graphic — leaving most viewers to identify horror movies the same way United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography, “I know it when I see it.” The Stanley Film Festival (SFF), which recently … Continue reading What’s in a name?

STANLEY FILM FESTIVAL

Colorado is home to a plethora of film festivals — from the very small and local to the very large and international — but the Stanley Film Festival (SFF), playing April 30 – May 3, is a rare one. Existing left of center, SFF embraces all that is wonderful and demented about horror movies. Located in the haunted historic halls of the Stanley Hotel, SFF brings together classic and contemporary horror cinema and offers a slate of movies that range from high camp to deadly serious. Much like romance and comedy, horror movies use very specific moments and tropes to … Continue reading STANLEY FILM FESTIVAL